Young Ronan Farrow of MSNBC who won a Cronkite Journalism Award three days after appearing on the air seems to have learned a grownup word that he loves to bandy about: "nuanced."
It was that word that Farrow employed to excuse the infamous remarks by Gruber that it was important to deceive the public about Obamacare. Most of you have already seen the Gruber video since Newsbusters was the first major website to feature it but for those of you in the mainstream media who still pretend like Senator Angus King to know nothing about Jonathan Gruber, you can review the video of the Obamacare architect below before watching the Ronan Farrow fiasco:
Gruber refused an invitation yesterday to be interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News. Instead he picked the perfect patsy in the form of Ronan Farrow in order to make lame excuses completely unchallenged by Farrow who actually provided cover for him with the "nuanced" shtick:
RONAN FARROW: In another controversy that Obamacare is mired in today comes from a somewhat unexpected source, one of the law's architects. A video of MIT professor and Obamacare consultant, Jonathan Gruber emerged online over the weekend. The comments are old but the viral furor surrounding it is brand new. Take a look at this...
[Gruber Obamacare Deception Video Played]
FARROW: Our friend Megan Kelly over at Fox and others have railed against Gruber's comments in the last 24 hours but is there to the controversy? And what does it reveal about the obstacles Obamacare now faces? Joining me now is the man at the heart of that controversy, Jonathan Gruber. Thank you so much professor Gruber for taking the time so first of all, you haven't taken the time to publicly comment on this so far. Do you stand by the comments in that video?
JONATHAN GRUBER: Um, the comments made in the video were made at an academic conference. I was speaking off the cuff and I I basically spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments.
That's it? He was "speaking off the cuff" and he "spoke inappropriately?" Imagine what Megyn Kelly would have done with those incredibly lame excuses. Instead of even a hit of a criticism from Ronan Farrow, he attempts to provide cover with his version of the N word.
FARROW: But your point that you were making underneath the choice of words was actually quite nuanced. You were saying essentially, correct me if I'm wrong, that due to political pressure the language of Obamacare had to be somewhat opaque, somewhat lacking in transparency. Is that correct?
Poor Gruber. Against his better nature he was forced to be opaque and lack transparency about Obamacare because of political pressure.
GRUBER: This is something that we have seen actually going back to the Clinton and Bush presidencies which is that public policies that involves spending is typically less politically palatable than policies than involve doing things through the tax code. It would make more sense to do Obamacare the way we did in Massachusetts which would be to just actually give people money. Toss out the cost of their health insurance. That was politically infeasible and so instead it was done through the tax code and that was the only point I was making.
Really Jonathan? Because in your infamous video the point you actually did make was that you wanted to deceive the Congressional Budget Office. Here are your actual words which young Ronan was unwilling to challenge at all:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass...
And now we come to proof positive about why Ronan Farrow is a horrible interviewer:
FARROW: Do you think that those pressures politically led to language in this law that affected sustainability adversely?
GRUBER: Uh, no I don't. I think the pressures politically led to a law with some typos which has led to this recent dramatic court case but I don't think it really affected sustainability.
FARROW: Well, let's talk about that case. The Supreme Court just agreeing to hear that challenge to Obamacare specifically based on this ambiguity of the law it seems. This issue in this case is whether the federal Obamacare exchange not just the state run ones can offer tax credits to low income Americans. Do you think the somewhat tortured language of the bill opened it up to these legal attacks?
GRUBER: It's not really tortured language. It's just a typo. I mean basically, remember, this law, the law that passed was essentially the Senate version was supposed to go to conference then when Scott Brown got elected the Democrats didn't have the votes to put it through conference, they basically passed the Senate version which had basically typos in it. And this is a typo. It's first of all it's not entirely clear if you look at the language what it actually means. One way to read it is that state and federal exchanges can't get subsidies. Another way to read it is that they can. But it's blatantly clear through interpretation of the law that Congress completely intended for these subsidies to be available to all the states.
FARROW: This is largely about the ambiguity of the language. We'll be watching to see if the Supreme court errs on the side of what's in the text or the intentions you're ascribing to it.
Of course, it is too much to expect Farrow to know anything about the videos of Jonathan Gruber himself stating that Obamacare subsidies were only intended to go to state based exchanges, not federal exchanges. Gruber later claimed to have made "speak-o's" but one of those speak-o's came from prepared remarks. A knowledgeable interviewer would have brought that up but Farrow is lost trying to remember his grownup words plus the fact that he won't challenge Gruber and risk imperiling what little time he has left at MSNBC.
Yes, the word is out that MSNBC might soon be cancelling Ronan Farrow. However perhaps Farrow can take solace in a nuanced version of the cancellation. He won't be cancelled so much as his performance has "affected sustainability adversely."
p.s. Did I mention that Newsbusters was the first major website to feature the Jonathan Gruber Obamacare deception video?